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Customs quandary to threaten India round?

10 January 2013

The inaugural Indian round of the World Superbike Championship could be under threat over an issue regarding customs.

Under Indian law, technical equipment – such as bikes and parts – must be entered into customs fifteen days before the race, but with the opening round of the WSBK season at Phillip Island held just 14 days before the series races at the Buddh International Circuit, this will not be possible.

Furthermore, according to GPOne.com, a 'customs bond' for items entering the country but not intended to be sold, must be handed over. This could be a significant price for the teams to foot, not least because the Indian government can hold onto the bond for six months before returning it.

It is not the first time that Indian customs practices has created a headache for motorsport organisers, with the first Indian F1 Grand Prix in 2011 subject to similarly rigorous routines.

As the significance of the issue became clear, event organiser's Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) offered to pay the customs duties and taxes, before a deal was brokered with the Indian government to make the F1 Grand Prix exempt from such fees.

It isn't clear whether WSBK will be given the same leniency.

As it stands, the 2013 WSBK calendar remains provisional less than six weeks before the season gets underway in Australia, but while GPOne.com states a meeting is being held next week in an effort to solve the issues, it's very possible that India's first WSBK event could be cancelled before it has started.

Should the Indian event go ahead as planned, the races will be held on a slightly shortened 5.014km (13 turn) two-wheel track layout, rather than the 5.14km (16 turn) F1 configuration.


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